Become a Cyber Smart family
This information is intended to be used as a guide only. As a parent, you develop and determine appropriate computer use for your family in your home. The following dot points have been developed through consultation and recommendations from Tatachilla Staff, Students, and a Parent focus group. There is no blanket rule for all students. Even within a family there may be some variations to the usage of laptops between siblings. However, as a starting point it helps to know what is being said here at School and shared with other parents so that you can feel supported.
Laptop use in common areas of the home (lounge, dining room, family room) is encouraged
- This promotes healthy and safe computer usage in the home. This also allows you as a parent to monitor your child’s time and usage of the laptop.
An acceptable shut down time and study period should be negotiated between you and your child
- Guidelines for H/W time in diary. We also recommend shutdown by no later than 9pm, as this allows some period of ‘wind down’ time before going to bed.
- Some parents have chosen to turn off or unplug their family’s internet router / modem to ensure that social networking and access is controlled. Please read issues related to smart-phones below.
Consider the need for your child to have a mobile smart-phone at school
- Students who have mobile smart devices including phones have direct access to the web or they can use these as a local ‘hotspot’ to connect to their laptop via ‘Bluetooth’ and so access the internet even when the home router / modem is turned off. This also means they can use their mobiles as a hotspot at school and bypass the College’s internet filtering service. Both laptops and mobile smart-phones need to be considered as related issues both at home and at school. Whilst at school various filters exist to stop access to certain sites including Facebook, these do not control smart devices like phones.
- In situations where parents want to know that their child has a means to contact them during transport to and from school for the child’s own safety they may wish to consider the option of a more basic phone.
There is no need for Laptops/phones to be charged or used in bedrooms
- This protects your child on social networking, reducing the risk of cyber bullying.
- Research suggests that adolescents require 9-10 hours sleep a night. (There are many reports on this matter but here is one link that might be of interest: http://www.stanford.edu/~dement/adolescent.html)
- Some parents use the guideline that electronic gadgets are left outside the bedrooms before bed routine and it has worked well for them.
Parents as ‘Administrators’ for the Laptop from 2012
- Many parents have spent a lot of time and money on securing their own home network in ways that suits their requirements following cyber-safety recommendations.
- In order to give you as parents some support in managing content on your child’s laptop you will be given ‘administrative rights’ to your child’s computer. This means that your child needs to ask you to put a password in when they wish to install some new program and it gives much needed control back to you as to what is put on the child’s computer after the initial set up here at the College.
- The College has already installed all the programs that your child will need for their studies but because this is also a tool that your child can use for their own recreation they may well like to put some games, etc on to it. As parents you can at least have a choice and a discussion with your child about what is appropriate.
- Later, in agreement with parents and, as students demonstrate positive use, they can be made ‘Administrators’ in their own right. At that point they will not need your permission to put anything on their computer.
The laptop is not a private device like a diary
- The laptop program aims to aid students and staff in learning and teaching and is not the sole tool for their education. The laptop itself is set up and resourced by the school. Whilst Tatachilla wants to encourage use by students, the laptop is still an aid to learning and, just as an exercise book will be looked at, so will a computer. You have every right to know what is on your child’s laptop and you have the right to remove inappropriate content or programs.
- Some students may choose to use the computer almost as a diary - saving private content. They need to understand that such material can be saved on the computer but that will not stop IT staff, parents and teachers having the right to ask to see work being done. In this sense the computers are not to be treated as personal diaries and any choice made by students to store such private material needs some consideration.
- If you see fit to set up a short ban of use at home then please use the diary to communicate to staff so that they can consider an appropriate response that will make it clear how your child will be able to complete any expected work.
It is strongly encouraged to regularly check the internet usage of your child
- There is a variety of internet monitoring software available for free. You can also prevent access to certain sites. Please click here to see our Parental Controls Page.
- Internet usage here at College is checked regularly via a random schedule as outlined in the IT policy. If you have a concern in this area please contact the Home-Class Teacher.
Cyber safety is the responsibility of everyone
- Develop safe practices within your own home; teach your child how to set up social networking accounts safely.
- Many students have more than 1 social networking account and/or email address. Becoming ‘friends’ on your child’s account is a start but some will set up another as well.
The CyberSmart website has may resources to help both parents and students deal with online security, saftey and concerns. Please click on the following link to access this ste: http://www.cybersmart.gov.au/